Makeup Geek Eyeshadow Swatches

I’ve been really struggling to post lately; even my weekly Sunday beauty post has fallen by the wayside. I’m going through one of those phases in my Chronic Life when I have zero energy left; the constant battle with the pain is wearing me down. The pain itself is also particularly severe and persistent, even by my standards. I’m scheduled to have brain surgery in January, but that’s another post.

So, while I haven’t had the opportunity to properly test drive this batch of Makeup Geek eyeshadows (my first!), I do have some swatches I would like to share with you.

They are swatched on the back of my own hand so bear in mind that I’m super pale; I use NW10 in Mac foundations. I didn’t use any primer underneath. I used a fingertip to swatch and didn’t go over them several times; I wanted to show as accurately as possible how pigmented the shades are. 

I was impressed with the pigmentation of these shadows and I’m pleased with the shades themselves- soooooo pretty 😍. I’m particularly excited about Mermaid, the bright metallic bluish green right in the middle. Now if I could just get a few  low pain hours to test drive these beautiful shades…

What do you think of Makeup Geek eyeshadows?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.


Tarteist Pro Custom Magnetic Palette

Despite the fact that I started wearing makeup when I was 13 (very subtly so as to avoid detection by my mum or teachers), a couple of decades later I remain a newbie to the world of eyeshadow. Until now the only eyeshadow I use regularly is a slightly-lighter-than-my-skin shade just beneath the arches when I do my brows.

I’m now working on getting a little collection of eyeshadows together and developing my application skills. So when I was indulging in my beauty birthday haul (Part 1 and Part 2),  I snapped up this palette from Tarte to store my pan eyeshadows in.

I’m really glad that I went for this palette. Firstly – it’s so gorgeous to look at! The animal print design will never go out of style as far as I’m concerned! The the little metallic plate with the brand name is a nice touch too.

The palette has a pleasing sturdy feel to it. It feels like it will last a long time and while it is s little heavy, I’d still put it in a suitcase to travel without a second thought. In my opinion the extra weight is worth it for the durability pay off.

On the inside, the palette sports a lovely big mirror, the size of the entire lid. I really like this, in fact it’s one of the things that drew me to the palette. I know that professional makeup artists like to be able to see the shadows through the lid, which makes sense since they’re applying makeup to other people rather than to themselves, so a mirror isn’t top priority. Also people who always sit at a beauty table to apply makeup might not need another mirror. I personally don’t always sit in the same spot when applying makeup so I love this mirror as it’s big enough to use while doing my entire face. The mirror could easily be the only one a person takes with them when travelling. I haven’t as yet tested the magnetic hold by traveling with this  palette but all the pans stay put when it is turned upside down. 

I own a large Z palette which cost more than this Tarte offering; the Tarte one is in another league in my opinion. I recommend keeping an eye out for any more custom palettes Tarte release – if they’re anything like this one, they are well worth the money. {At time of posting the palette discussed in this review is actually still available on Tarte’s website}. 

Do you have a favourite custom palette?

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All items discussed were purchased with my own money.

Birthday Beauty Haul Pt 1

I don’t often get the chance to buy multiple beauty products in one go; it’s a sad fact that being chronically ill does bad things to your disposable income! But on my birthday and at Christmas I tend to get beauty gifts and gift cards from the people close to me so I’m able to indulge in some beauty hauling. 

I’m still waiting for some goodies from Tarte but in the meantime I thought I’d share some pics of the products that have arrived and cheered up my Chronic Life. I’ll be reviewing everything individually but if there’s a shade of eyeshadow you need to know the name of right now, feel free to ask in the comments 😊.

From Makeup Geek I ordered 5 shadows to go in my palette, one of which is a foiled formula, as well as two blushes. From Clinique I repurchased a Quickliner for Eyes in Brown Black.

From Too Faced I opted for (after much deliberation & with advice from my spoonie beauty blogger buddies) the Natural Eyes palette and from Spectrum brushes I got a fan brush to use with highlight.

From Anastasia Beverly Hills I very excitedly went for the Moon Child Glow Kit and also threw in my first ABH liquid lipstick in Dusty Rose.

I’m just started to play with these products now but I couldn’t wait another minute to share these pics – swatches and full reviews coming soon!

What product have you hauled lately that you absolutely love? 

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Maybelline The Blushed Nudes Palette: 1st Impressions 

If you’ve read my recent posts, you’ll know that I’ve decided that at the age of 34, it’s time to finally learn how to apply eyeshadow properly. I recently purchased my first palette from Tarte (the collaboration with Grav3yardgirl of YouTube fame, see post here) and am browsing posts on Too Faced and Urban Decay palettes to help me decide which one I need in my life. I’ve also purchased my first 3 shadows from Makeup Geek and am looking forward to gradually filling my Z Palette with shades that hopefully work wth my very fair skin.

When I spotted the Maybelline Blushed Nudes palette on sale at ASOS, I thought I might as well grab it and see what this drugstore offering is like.

The shades themselves are neutral and pretty. If you’re an established eyeshadow lover, you doubtless already own similar shades, probably in higher-end palettes. But if you’re a beginner, either because you’re just late to the party like me or because you’re young, these kind of shades strike me as a good place to start.

I noticed on swatching these shadows that they are noticeably more powdery than the Tarte palette or handful of Mac shadows I own, which I guess is to be expected when you consider the huge difference in price! There was also quite a bit of fall out when using a brush to get product from pan to the eyelid.

Having swatched and had an initial play with the shadows in this palette, I think the amount of use I’ll get out of them varies a lot from shade to shade. The lighter colours apply nicely over primer; I used the Urban Decay Primer Potion. Some of the darker ones swatched well but ended up looking lacklustre and a little muddy when applied, even when factoring in that my eyeshadow application game needs work. 

I’m not disgarding this palette by any means but to be honest it doesn’t make me want to order more Maybelline eyeshadows. I’m sure there are some great quality shadows in the drugstore price range but this particular palette hasn’t especially impressed me so far. That said, if with further use I warm to it, I’ll return to this post and add an update. In the meantime I think I’ll buy a couple of Makeup Geek shades at a time & add them to my Z Palette rather than buying more drugstore palettes randomly because they’re on sale.

What is your favourite drugstore brand for eyeshadows? 

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Spectrum Eyeshadow Brush Set: 1st Impressions

As you may have picked up from my previous posts, I’m currently on a mission to up my eyeshadow game. I’m in the process of collecting some staple shades and formulas and binge watching YouTube videos in an effort to learn how the grown ups apply eyeshadow that doesn’t end up looking like a muddy mess.

I decided that I needed some decent eyeshadow brushes but since I’m starting my collection pretty much from scratch, I couldn’t justify spending £24 on one MAC brush…not until I’ve made some serious progress on the application front anyway! I’ve had my eye on Spectrum brushes for a while; gorgeous pics and positive reviews are forever popping up in my Twitter feed. So I finally went ahead and ordered their 8 piece eyeshadow brush set.

So, first of all I have to say….how pretty! Pink, blue and purple is my ideal combination of shades for pretty much anything. If you’re a fan of mermaid type colours then you’ll love these. I like the fact that these are super pretty but not so sugary that they look like they’re aimed at young teenagers (in my opinion at least).

Clearly I’m not an expert on this particular aspect of makeup, but these seem like decent quality brushes at a reasonable price. The brush fibres are super soft with none of that slightly scratchy feeling that some brushes have. I’ve had a little play with them and they really helped shadows blend in a much more pleasing fashion than I’ve managed thus far!

I’m impressed with the range of sizes, shapes and densities in this set. The shorter, firmer brushes remain soft to the touch.

There was one concern I had about these brushes – when I unpacked them, there was an unpleasant chemical/glue type smell. It turned out that is wasn’t actually the brushes, just the plastic wallet thing they were packed in; phew!

If you’re a newbie to eyeshadow then I’d recommend this set as a great place to start and a good way to avoid spending a fortune on individual brushes that you don’t yet know how to use. Even if you’re a life long eyeshadow lover, these brushes would make a pretty and very useful addition to your beauty collection.

Do you have a favourite brand for makeup brushes?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Also on Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products discussed were purchased with my own money.

Grav3yardGirl Tarte Palette

Time for a shocking confession – my eyeshadow skills are so poor that’s they’re pretty much nonexistent. You know how some people love a winged liquid eyeliner look but really struggle to create the desired look on themselves? That’s how I am with eyeshadow. At the age of 34 I’ve decided that I shall not be defeated by makeup products; I’m determined to develop grownup eyeshadow game. 

So when Bunny (wildly popular and fabulous YouTuber at Grav3yardgirl) collaborated with Tarte to create the Swamp Queen palette, which appeared to have lots of pretty yet neutral shades in it, I decided that I needed it in my life. Let’s dive right in to my thoughts on this much sought-after palette.


I have to start with the packaging because I LOVE it. The faux wood texture, fool’s gold vibe and winged gator make for a palette that definitely doesn’t look like anything  else on the market. A lot of thought has gone into the packaging and in my opinion it paid off. The palette feels nice & sturdy yet isn’t too heavy to carry in your handbag if you want to. The mirror inside is large and the brush that’s included is dense and soft.

The palette has the most delicious scent to it, which fortunately doesn’t trigger hideous pain over one eye for me (it’s a Chronic Daily Migraine thing). The fragrance is chocolate with a little extra something, vanilla maybe. Have you ever eaten a Kinder Egg or those little Kimder bars?  That’s what this palette reminds me of…yum.


Inside the palette you’ll find a bronzer, a blush, a highlighter and nine eyeshadows. I really like the fact that each product is named & connected with elements of Bunny’s life – it suggests attention to detail and that she actually spent time on these shades  (I’m not an expert in celebrity/YouTuber collaboration palettes by any means but from what I’ve read the amount of effort & actual contribution from said celebrity can vary wildly). 


As you can see from the swatches, I’m ludicrously pale so tend to avoid bronzer generally. Sweet Tea is pretty though so I see no reason why I can’t use it as an eyeshadow. The blush Does This Thing Really Work? is actually a lovely shade for me, though I suspect I’ll need to use a light hand (I always have to if a product is in any way pigmented, to avoid looking like Coco the Clown!). There is a slight shimmer through it which fits nicely with the palette’s summertime release. The Gator Wings highlight is a SERIOUS highlight; this highlight wants you to be visible from space. This is a popular element of the palette, although some people feel it’s too ‘chunky glitter’ and frosty but personally I just keep gazing at it like the magpie I am. It’s never occurred to me to want a gold highlight before but this one just makes me think ‘oooooooh, preeeeeettty’😍, which incidentally was exactly what my 5 year old daughter said when she watched me unboxing this palette.


I’m pleased with the range of colours in the eyeshadow section. Being such a newbie on the eyeshadow front, I’m pleased to have ‘wearable’ colours to play with. I particularly like the bottom row of shades. While some of the shadows are technically matte there’s a definite leaning towards shimmer in this palette. I’ve noticed that some of them are prone to fall out (I’m looking at you, Sippy Sippy) but not so much that it bothers me unduly. Here’s how they look swatched without primer on my NW10/15 skin:


Big Baby is a perfect shade to use just under my brows on an everyday basis. Sassy Bun is super pretty. While the overall range of shades is on the warmer side, I really think these eyeshadows could work on any skin tone. This palette is great for someone like me who doesn’t currently have many eyeshadows in their makeup collection. Of course, you may be someone who feels that you can never own too many palettes or just want this one because you’re a huge fan of Bunny – both perfectly valid reasons for treating yourself to this one 😊 (if you can get your hands on it).

This palette was a good buy for me. It wasn’t cheap to purchase and have delivered to the UK but it’s a gorgeous way to kick start my eyeshadow collection. Treats like this are a little slice of pleasure amongst my daily struggle with pain.  I’m awaiting a date for admission to hospital to have a hole drilled into my skull and a pressure sensor placed in there for a couple of days – I’ll be hooked up to monitor and largely immobile. I may spend that strange stranded time watching YouTube eyeshadow tutorials and practicing with this palette; that won’t look at all weird, right? 😜

What eyeshadow palettes / tutorials would you recommend to a newbie like me? 

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

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Note: this is not a sponsored post. All products were purchased, not PR samples.

MAC Custom Eyeshadow Quad

I love an elegant eyeshadow look on other people but must admit that I struggle to make it work on myself. I’m confident with liquid eyeliner but at 34 years old I really am a novice in the eyeshadow department. Eyeshadow is probably the type of makeup I’ve had the least practice with. My eyes becoming puffy and weird as a result of the Botox treatment I’m having for Chronic Daily Migraine isn’t helping at all!


I’ve decided that practice is bound to make perfect eventually so during my MAC haul a couple of months back, I chose four gorgeous neutral shades to experiment with. The empty quad palette wasn’t at all expensive (to my surprise) and since the eyeshadows are cheaper to buy in the metal pan without all the plastic packaging, it’s definitely worth doing it this way if you’re buying a few shadows at once. Alternatively if you’re a massive eyeshadow fan & add colours to your collection regularly, the larger metallic palettes are a good space-saving option.


The lovely Monica who helped me at the Canary Wharf (East London) store unboxed the eyeshadows and fitted them into the palette for me; I’d have cried if messed up my first MAC eyeshadows immediately! The palette is sturdy and feels like it will last a long time. I think the quad palette would be handy for eyeshadows lovers to include in their overnight/weekend bag; just slot your current favourite four shades in.



The above pics show how the shades look swatched on my very fair NW10-NW15 skin. If you’re as fair as me or just fair in general, I really recommend Blanc Type as a highlighting shade for beneath the brow and corner of the eyes. It’s a matte finish, which I prefer while I’m still learning the eyeshadow ropes (don’t want that super sparkly, bright white under-brow look that my mum used to rock when I a child in the 80s!). Corduroy is a gorgeous rich reddish brown in a matte finish that I suspect could look lovely on all skin tones. It seems especially pigmented to me so it calls for a light hand if, like me, you don’t really know what you’re doing! Woodwinked is a lovely shimmery shade. It’s hard to describe but to me it looks like a light bronze with a hint of warm gold undertone to the shimmer. The shade is a pretty summer option and would look gorgeous with a tan (not that I ever have one!). Cork is a wildly popular shade that never seems to go out of fashion. It’s a sheer finish golden brown that strikes me as potentially very versatile.

My initial experiments with these eyeshadows have shown them to be quality products; long lasting and blendable. They apply very smoothly with none of the crumbly chalkiness that some cheaper eyeshadows have going on. MAC currently have a whopping 130 shades available in the pan refill form and there are a variety of finishes to choose from, so I’ll definitely be heading back for more when I eventually improve my eyeshadow application game.

What MAC shades would you recommend for someone who is new to wearing eyeshadow?

Wishing you good luck and happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet /follow me @chroniccockney

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Note: this is not a sponsored post.

Mac Pro Longwear Paint Pot in ‘Painterly’

I have never been someone who adores eyeshadow; I’m more of a lipstick & liquid eyeliner person. Since my chronic illness worsened in the last two years, I’ve had less chance to indulge in my makeup obsession and eyeshadow has been limited to a subtle highlight under the brows when I’m well enough to apply makeup at all.  I’ve had my eye on this product for ages though  so I included it in my Mac haul a while back.


I wanted something easy to use and in the nude/neutral shade area, so this Paint Pot in the shade Painterly fit the bill nicely. Mac describes the product as:

A highly pigmented, long-wearing eye shadow that goes on creamy and dries to an intense, vibrant finish. The innovative second skin-like formula blends smoothly over lids and creates seamless, buildable coverage without looking heavy or cakey. Its superior colour purity stays true and will not streak or crease. Pro Longwear Paint Pot can be mixed with other products like M·A·C shadows and liners.


I know that many people use this shade as a base to keep powder shadow in place & vibrant. Personally I enjoy using it alone. It looks natural yet ‘finished’ when applied across the entire lid below crease, worn with just a little subtle highlight work under the brow. The product REALLY stays put and remains pigmented. 


One fun side effect of the Botox treatment I am currently getting for my Chronic Daily Migraine is that my eyelids are suddenly very puffy and generally weird looking (don’t even get me started on how my semi frozen eyebrows no long match 🙈). So it’s great to find a simple yet effective product & application method that I can use while figuring out how the hell to apply eyeshadow to my crazy weird eye area.

I really like the packaging too – the pot is made of glass but feels very sturdy so dropping it shouldn’t end in disaster & it would be very easy to take on your travels.

Do you have a favourite Paint Pot or a fabulous drugstore dupe?

Wishing you good luck & happy days,

Kindra x

Tweet/Follow me @chroniccockney

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Chronic Pain Cockney – The Little Things is also on Bloglovin.

Note: this is not a sponsored post.

Mac Haul Sneak Peek 

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll know that my life isn’t like other people’s. The Chronic Daily Migraine and Fibromyalgia keep me housebound a lot of the time. So you’ll appreciate just how excited I was to FINALLY get some functional hours where I was able to get to the Mac store in Canary Wharf to make use of the gift cards that have been burning a hole in my pocket since Christmas. It was a happy day! (I felt very rough on way back but it was totally worth it 😊).


Two things to mention up front. Firstly, since chronic illness has crippled both me & my finances, there’s no way I’d normally be able to justify buying this much stuff in one go; only my Christmas gift cards make it possible right now. Secondly, Mac has a shocking reputation in terms of in-store customer services. I have no idea if it’s deserved or not but if you’re shopping in East London I recommend the Canary Wharf branch; Monica who looked after me was friendly and really helpful. 
Today I’ll show you what products I went for. In upcoming posts I’ll review each one individually with swatches and updates on how I’m getting on with the products. I’m soooo excited to play with all this stuff 👏🏼. Up to this point the majority of my MAC purchases have been Matte Lipsticks.


  • Pro Longwear Foundation in NW15
  • Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15
  • Fix+ Spray (30ml Sized to Go)


    • Eyeshadow x 4 palette 
    • Eyeshadows in pan – Blanc Type, Corduroy, Woodwink & Cork. 
    • False Lash Effect Mascara (Sized to Go)
    • Paint Pot in Painterly 


      • Lipstick – Brave Red (Cremesheen)
      • Lipstick – Brave (Satin)
      • Lipliner – Cherry
      • Lipliner – Dervish
      • Lipliner – Soar

      BTW the Fix+ spray and mascara are mini sizes but still generous; they cost £10 each & are available online too. A handy way to trial products or grab a handbag size treat.

      I’ll be back very soon with individual reviews! 

      Do you have a favourite Mac product?

      Wishing you good luck & happy days,

      Kindra x

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